Southern Cameroons: SCNC Activists Defy Troops, Hoist Flags
Diehard activists of the Southern Cameroons National Council, SCNC, October 1, defied heavy troop deployment in Bamenda and other major towns in the Northwest, and hoisted their flags in Kumbo, Wum, Tubah and Mbengwi.
Below is an article published by The Post:
As troops paraded the streets of Bamenda, hoping to crack down on any SCNC demonstrators, the activists hoisted flags at Bayelle, Bamendankwe, the seat of Northwest administration, and at Ntarinkon and Ntabessi neighbourhoods as well as bellow Catholic Church Bayelle.
Riot police pulled down the flags only in the evening.
Talking to The Post from Kumbo, SCNC Coordinator, Stephen Nkongnso, said as of Sunday, police had reportedly arrested five SCNC activists in Oku. Nkongnso said on September 30, breaking October 1, gendarmes and police came to his residence wanting to be briefed on how they intended to celebrate in Kumbo. "I briefed them and did not give details of other activities and before dawn, we hoisted seven flags in all subdivisions and one flag just above Bui SDO's residence and in Tobin.
At midday, the gendarmes asked for the SCNC anniversary speech of Chief Ayamba. We went there and handed the speech to them and we were not arrested. First of its kind, and I told them that their behaviour shows learning is gradually taking place," Nkongnso told The Post. In Mbengwi, forces of law and order stormed the family of one Evans Akah Fonso very close to where two flags were hoisted as they were preparing to go to their farms.
They were forced to climb the tall eucalyptus trees and bring down the flags.
Nyuap Ndi of the SCNC Cow Office said the significance of hoisting the flags was twofold; they were mourning the Southern Cameroonians who have been killed and those currently undergoing persecution by repressive forces from La République du Cameroun. "We are also happy that our independence day as Southern Cameroonians has coincided with our neigbhour, Nigeria, that is celebrating 50 years of its independence today," Nyuap said.
Asked why as activists they were not bold enough to hoist the flag at their Cow Street Office, Nyugap said, "Every year, we have been hoisting flags there, but this year, to avoid confrontation, we decided to move out and the police were confused not knowing our programme of the day. In the first place, on the eve of October 1, police invaded our office and carted away SCNC documents."
The 49th anniversary speech of the SCNC National Chairman, Chief Ayamba Ette Otun, that was read everywhere the flags were hoisted, intimated that those killed so far for the struggle have not died in vain because "the liberation struggle to free Southern Cameroons from the stranglehold of our oppressor - La République du Cameroun is fully on course." He said that while there are people who think that the SCNC motto, "The Force of Argument, Not the Argument of Force" has prolonged our bondage," Ayamba reaffirms that they have scored several goals recently because of SCNC's pacific approach.
But, he was quick to add: "that doesn't mean that we are not examining other options to accelerate the pace of our struggle to freedom. For now, let us give reason a chance, while maintaining the absolute right to change strategies when the time is ripe." He paid tribute to Nfor Ngala Nfor, his vice, for establishing SCNC structures in several parts of Europe over the last three months. Ayamba said the struggle is on, thanks to financial and material support from Cameroonians in the Diaspora.
The SCNC Chair recalled that President Paul Biya celebrated the 50th anniversary of independence of the French République and cautioned him not attempt telling "us how we are going to celebrate our own next year in Southern Cameroons, because we are making concrete plans to celebrate this golden jubilee of our independence with a difference. It is not Biya who will tell us how to celebrate our birthday which he has never recognized."
Concerning next year's presidential election and Biya's visit to Bamenda, Ayamba called for a boycott, adding: "how can we welcome a conqueror who wants to wipe Southern Cameroons from the world map or partake in elections whose winner is already known?"
He warned all Southern Cameroonians who are collaborating with the "forces of oppression to desist from fraternizing with the enemy because of the sinecure positions they hold. "They should know that nothing is as sweet as freedom and that servitude can never be replaced by perpetual subservience and enslavement."